About

Unmaking Things is a blog run by students of the MA History of Design programme, which is jointly run by the Royal College of Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Established in 2011 as a ‘microsite’ under the full name of Unmaking Things: a Design History Studio, it was conceived as ‘an online studio within which students of the course could practice their craft’.

With the new Unmaking Things, we intend to continue the tradition of using the blog as a space to explore ideas relating to history of design, unrestricted to styles, type of object, geography or time period.We also want to open up the platform to a variety of backgrounds, encouraging collaborations and submissions from anyone interested in history of design. As part of Unmaking Things, we aim to initiate articles, projects and events to stimulate interdisciplinary approaches. With this ambition, we now welcome multimedia formats, encompassing film, images and podcasts, exploring new ways of writing design history.

Unmaking Things is the combined effort of many people from different disciplines.

Sophie Chatellier
editor
Sophie is a second-year History of Design student at the V&A/RCA. Her current research focuses on early 20th century swimming pools and swimming culture. She previously studied graphic design at the London College of Communication and worked in publishing. She also likes to make pots, draw, watch Korean soaps and run outside.
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Vivien Chan
editor
Vivien is a second-year History of Design student at the V&A/RCA. Her current dissertation focuses on dai pai dong, a type of street food stall in Hong Kong. Other research interests includes fashion and gender in pop-culture, the everyday, and processes of making and documenting, particularly in East Asian contexts. She has previously studied and worked as an illustrator, animator and filmmaker, and is obsessed with all things Sailor Moon.
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Andrea Foffa
editor
Andrea is a second-year History of Design student at the V&A/RCA. His current research focuses on CGI and their impact on the UK architecture industry since the 1990s. Other interests include industrial design, exhibition making, video games and objects that may or may not be sixteenth century toothpick cases. He holds a degree in Architecture and has worked in design research, exhibitions and communication.
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Lovisa Willborg Jonsson
editor
Lovisa is a second-year History of Design student at the V&A/RCA. Her dissertation is focused on the social and material culture of cross-dressing in eighteenth century Sweden. Her research interest lies in the queer- and gendered aspects of early modern dress history. Lovisa studied Cultural Management at Södertörn University in Sweden and worked within the contemporary fashion and art industries.
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Alistair Small
editor
Alistair Small is a first-year History of Design student at the V&A/RCA. After completing his BA in History of Art at the University of York, writing a dissertation on alternative dwelling spaces and post-war capitalism, he worked as a research assistant at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art. His current research interests include sustainability in design, prefabricated architecture, and the expanding methodology of the design historian.
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Katharine Vann
editor
Katharine is a second-year History of Design student at the V&A/RCA. Her current research focuses upon the practices North American anthropologists used to created assemblages of data that represent knowledges of indigenous peoples in the early twentieth century. Other interests include the design of bodies, the history of science and the design of bioengineered organisms. She holds a BA in Social Anthropology and has worked in the nonprofit sector.
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Olivia Gecseg
editor
Olivia is a second-year History of Design student at the V&A/RCA. She has a degree in English and a background in communication and marketing, and currently writes for the Costume Society’s blog. For her dissertation, she is researching the late-socialist era in Hungary and the implications of using folk dress styles and national motifs in urban fashion garments.
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Ayelet Shats
editor
Ayelet Shats is a first-year History of Design student at the V&A/RCA. Graduating from Bezalel Academy of art, she has been working as a fashion designer. Her current research interests are gender and nationality in dress and textiles, as well as histories of museums and exhibition design.
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Janice Li
editor
Janice is a first-year History of Design student at the V&A/RCA.  With an interdisciplinary interest in fin-de-siècle urban spaces, psychography, photography, transnational fashion, and museology, she looks at how visuality and tactility in urban public spaces affect senses and behaviour, reflecting in social phenomena at large. As she finds her way in design history, she has slash careers in curating, researching, styling, photography, floral designing, and publishing, while holding degrees in history, art history, and nutritional science.
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Ellie Wadman
editor
Ellie Wadman is a first-year History of Design student at the V&A/RCA, with a background in sculpture, public programming and educational outreach. Her current research interests are relationships between gender and technology as well as histories of humour.
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Izzy Rhodes
editor
Izzy is a first-year History of Design student at the V&A/RCA,  with a research background in American and English Literature and interest in public education. Her research has investigated contemporary racial politics and identity in material culture, in addition to Imperial representations of racial inferiority between 1880-90. Izzy is interested in the socialisation of stereotypes into daily life and expectation, and is currently researching British and American inter-war contraceptive technology, through the historiography of eugenics.
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Guglielmo Rossi
editor
Guglielmo Rossi is an Italian born and London based graphic designer currently attending the 1st year MA in History of design at the V&A/RCA. Starting from an interest in typography and language, his research interests have so far moved around printing and publishing as a form of knowledge dissemination, and graphic design and signage for the public environment.
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Arianna Tilche
designer
Arianna Tilche is a London based graphic designer currently studying Visual Communication at the Royal College of Art. With a background working as a letterpress and bookbinding technician, her work focuses on typographical experimentation and the exploration between the digital and tangible world.
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Hubert Mietkiewicz
designer
Hubert is a multidisciplinary designer focusing on web design, editorial and interactive art.
He is currently based in London and studying Visual Communication at Royal College of Art.
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Maciej Paprocki
developer
Maciej is freelance web developer. He has worked with numerous art and cultural organisations, including the National Theatre, the Sharjah Art Foundation and artist Marc Quinn. Currently, Maciej runs his own business helping artists, designers and cultural institutions to improve their web presence.
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Colophon Foundry
design studio
Colophon is a digital type foundry based in London (UK) and Los Angeles (US); we design and publish retail and custom typefaces for all mediums.
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Studio Bergini
design studio
Studio Bergini is a London based graphic design practice formed by Francesco Corsini & Kristian Hjorth Berge. They also run The Royal Duplication Centre which is the VisCom riso printing workshop at the Royal College of Art.
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Marta Franceschini
contributor
Marta is a second-year History of Design student at the V&A/RCA. After graduating in Fashion Design at IUAV, she took part in exhibitions and projects themed around heritage, national identity and fashion. Her current research analyses the systematisation of the Italian menswear sector, between the 1930s and 1950s, through its translation on the pages of the magazine Arbiter.
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Ralph Day
contributor
Ralph is a second-year History of Design student at the V&A/RCA. He has a background in modern languages and film. The body, sexuality, visual culture and material culture are cardinal points in his research, and is currently exploring how gay-ness registers in design and material culture in the UK during the 1970s and 1980s.
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Joel Moore
contributor
Joel is a second-year History of Design student at the V&A/RCA. He is interested in leisure theory, opera and theatre, issues of nostalgia, transport, and where possible, a combination of two or more of these themes. His dissertation aims to do this in the study of the design, marketing and experience of contemporary ocean liners as unique to the cruise industry.
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Charlotte Slark
contributor
Charlotte is a second-year History of Design student at the V&A/RCA. Charlotte is a budding design historian who is obsessed with mourning, class, and museums. After completing her undergraduate in Illustration she wrote the online catalogue for Royal Art in the Royal Collection, including drawings and watercolours by Queen Victoria.
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Lauren Bennet
contributor
Lauren is a first-year History of Design student at the V&A/RCA. After working in the arts in New York, Lauren Bennet is particularly interested in the role of fashion in gender and sexual politics. While she spent most of her time abroad parading topless advocating for equal rights for women, she now spends most of her time both wearing clothes and studying them.
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Maria Simoes Coelho
contributor
Maria is a second-year History of Design student at the V&A/RCA. Her dissertation focuses on furniture of Azorean origin from the sixteenth and seventeenth century with a connection to the South-West of England. She previously studied Art History at the University of Lisbon and Decorative Arts at Portuguese Catholic University. You can frequently find her in Museums, Libraries, Antiques exhibits, Auction houses and street fairs, likely with a camera and a notebook.
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Rebecca Goozee
contributor
Rebecca is a second-year History of Design student at the V&A/RCA. The current focus of her research is on the nature of violent incarceration in Supermax prisons in the US, where she is exploring the relationship between design and behaviour. Rebecca is also a teacher of Design and Technology and enjoys drawing, painting and buying stationary.
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Theo Inglis
contributor
Theo is a second-year student on the RCA Critical Writing in Art & Design programme, a freelance writer and book designer. He writes regularly for Grafik magazine and Monotype. His main research interests lie in graphic design, typography, publishing, design history and the city. He studied Graphic Design at Norwich University of the Arts and previously worked at a London-based design studio.
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Melissa Tyler
contributor
Melissa is a second-year History of Design student at the V&A/RCA. Through her research she seeks to problematise the decoration of country houses in the twentieth century and the methodologies used to study domestic interiors. She is also interested in developing exhibitions that redefine how historians present their research. Prior to the MA, she worked as a residential interior designer.
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Tanya Bentley
contributor
Tanya is a second-year History of Design student at the V&A/ RCA. Her current research uses artefact-led approaches to understanding early 20th-century Jewish arts and crafts and their relationship to histories of design, nationalism and identity formation. She has a BA in French and History and currently works for the National Portrait Gallery as a Curatorial Assistant.
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Natalia Goldchteine
contributor
Natalia is a second-year History of Design student at the V&A/ RCA. Natalia Goldchteine is a museum management professional, and previously worked at the Moscow Design Museum from 2012 to 2015. Her current dissertation focuses on studying the changing definition of soviet design in professional circles form 1960-1970s as manifest in specific domestic soviet design exhibitions.
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Helen Butler
contributor
Helen is a second-year History of Design student at the V&A/RCA. Her research concerns the history of natural rubber in 19th century Britain, and the rubber collection at the Economic Botany Museum at Kew Gardens. Her areas of interest focus around collections, botanical history and decorative everyday-objects. She previously studied Fine Art at the University of Leeds and UC Berkeley.
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Hannah Swanwick
contributor
Hannah is a writer and illustrator based in London. She is working on ways to sneak in her various pop-culture obsessions into her academic research, including Youtube beauty vloggers and doll-based 1960s children’s books. She currently works as a bookseller, and plans to study visual and material culture in the near future.
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Anna Stewart
contributor
Anna is a second-year History of Design student at the V&A/RCA. Current research focuses on early twentieth century educational objects. Previous research has looked at the design of sleep, a subject close to Anna’s heart. Her ideal project would be researching everyday interior architectural details. Anna is an independent consultant to clients in the design industry.
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Philippa Duployen
contributor
Pip is a second-year History of Design student at the V&A/RCA. Her first essay focused on Barbie in relation to race, ethnicity and cultural appropriation. Pip has continued to focus on toys for her dissertation with LEGO and the sets created especially for girls, exploring whether they construct feminine identities.
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Jihane Dyer
contributor
Mariana Moreira Lima
contributor
Mariana is a first-year History of Design student at the V&A/RCA. Her background is in fashion and before this course she studied fashion design, creative pattern cutting and historical costume making. Her current research interests are in the relation between garment construction, body shaping and ideas of body and how these evolved over time.
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Karen Morton
contributor
Karen is a first-year History of Design student at the V&A/RCA. Her specialism is in textiles and her interests encompass all aspects of the subject; research, history, making and teaching. Advocating the power of learning by doing, she has taught textiles design and technology within various contexts, most recently at GCSE and A level. She exhibits with Carousel, a London-based textiles group.
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Molly Behagg
contributor
Molly’s art practice explores the process of photography as a way of inhabiting architectural spaces. Her wider research is focused on current museum education practice. She looks at how we can establish new connections with public spaces by engaging with a critical art practice, and the possibility of producing new narratives through collaboration and shared experience. Molly is the Postgraduate Programmes Administrator at the V&A.
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Lucy Uprichard
contributor
Lucy is a writer, researcher and plant-lover residing in Montreal. As a fan of DIY print media, she helps organize a queer book and zine fair and is currently in the process of researching gendered approaches and LGBTQ+ narratives within diary-keeping. Her work focuses on gender, sexuality, pop culture and literature.
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Pallavi Patke
contributor
Pallavi is a first year MA student studying Decorative Arts, Design History and Material Culture at the Bard Graduate Center in New York City. She previously studied for an MA in History of Design and Material Culture at the University of Brighton, and is a textile design graduate from the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) in India. Her speciality is in the history of textile design and the study of ethnographic objects.
Ruth Slatter
contributor
Ruth Slatter is a graduate of the RCA/V&A History of Design MA. Her research focuses on material & spatial approaches to historical experience, with a particular interest in nineteenth-century religion & cultural practice. She has just submitted her PhD, which she has carried out in the UCL Geography Department.
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Laura McKinley
contributor
Laura is a professional glass blower, gallery manager at London Glassblowing on Bermondsey Street and a first year glass student at the RCA.
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Suzie Patridge
contributor
Suzie is a second-year History of Design student at the V&A/RCA. Her current research focuses upon the waltz in the context of early nineteenth century ballroom dance, society and fashion. Her previous research has included Art Embroidery, Neo-classical jewellery and the Ballets Russes spanning from eighteenth to twentieth century history.
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Nina Bangerh
contributor
Nina is a second-year History of Design student at the V&A/RCA. Her current research focuses upon contemporary fashion and sportswear through the lens of materiality. Her previous essay looked at Gender and Race through contemporary make up foundations. She has always had a keen interest in contemporary materiality relating to fashion and consumer culture. Prior to joining the programme, she graduated at the University of Northampton in Fashion and Textiles.
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Dani Trew
contributor
Dani is a first-year History of Design Student at the V&A/RCA. Her current research focuses on women’s dress in China during the Mao era. She undertook foundation studies at Central St Martins College of Art and Design, and a BA in English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford. She has worked on films and digital projects, as well as painting to commission – with work shortlisted for the BP Portrait Award in 2015 – and is a regular contributor to Selvedge Magazine.
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Johanna Himmelsbach
contributor
Johanna is a French-Swedish graphic designer based in Montpellier. She likes to take long walks through palm or pine forests. Her writing is visual. She likes to write more than she likes to design. Working with books sometimes gives her the opportunity to do both.
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Maxime Brousse
contributor
Maxime is a freelance journalist and translator based in Montpellier, France. He has worked for Vice, Le Journal de Mickey, Slate, Néon and Roads and Kingdoms. He focuses on social issues and travel writing.
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Thomas Dodds
contributor
Poet residing in London.
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Matilde Audisio
contributor
Matilde is a second-year History of Design student at the V&A/RCA. Her current research is based on a historical dissection of a physical location: Pomona (Manchester) – she uses this as a tool to dissect, criticise and unravel complex identity narratives, bound within the critical discourse of space and place in Edgelands. Matilde also aims to capture poignant, uncanny stillness, in unassuming settings, through her photographic endeavours.
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Nicholl Hardwick
contributor
Nicholl Hardwick is currently studying her MA in American Studies at the University of East Anglia.  She is co-president of the Migrant Solidarity Campaign at the UEA Union of Students, and pioneering fights for the rights of displaced people across the UK. Nicholl’s dissertation focusses on the female musician and performer Beyoncé, exploring both her resistance and conformity to the demands of white culture and exploring whether or not ‘Lemonade’ is signifying a progression in black American female agency.
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Mia Spampinato
contributor
Mia is a first-year History of Design student at the V&A/RCA. She is a practicing artist in classical realism, has BA in Art History and worked as an assistant art conservator with paintings and paper. Her interests are early modern art techne’, drawing techniques, embodiment of knowledge thru materials, nature and sustainability in design.
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Elif Uluca
contributor
Elif is a first-year History of Design Student at the V&A/RCA. Her current research focuses on the evolution of the bicycle. She graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York with a BFA degree in Product Design. Since then, she has done jewelry design for 3D printing, wood-working and ceramics and worked closely with curators.
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